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Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  8,914 ratings  ·  1,023 reviews
High-school junior Leila has made it most of the way through Armstead Academy without having a crush on anyone, which is something of a relief. Her Persian heritage already makes her different from her classmates; if word got out that she liked girls, life would be twice as hard. But when a sophisticated, beautiful new girl, Saskia, shows up, Leila starts to take risks she ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 7th 2014 by Algonquin Young Readers
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  8,914 ratings  ·  1,023 reviews

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Sue (Hollywood News Source)
“I also began to notice how white everything was. The students, the students’ teeth, and the fences surrounding the outdoor swimming pools we never used. We all seemed to categorize ourselves without ever explicitly saying anything. Where does that leave students who don’t have a clear category?”

Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel is the kind of book that I need in my life.

CW: a queer person getting outed, a supporting minor character having a relationship with an adult, ableism language, unch
Cristina Monica
May 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbt, high-school
I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’ve been in a book slump since the beginning of this whole confinement situation. Sure, I’ve finished a couple of books and enjoyed a few too, but it just hasn’t been the same at all.

That is, until I got to this beautiful little surprise. This is a book that has been on my TBR pile for many years, and I always thought of it as a book I would read if I had no more books I wanted to read. Crazy, right? But hell, I missed reading LGBTQIA+ stories so I gave t
Emily May
Apr 07, 2014 marked it as dnf
Shelves: young-adult, arc
DNF for now.

Everything about this book sounds awesome and I want it to be known that I did not read further than the second chapter - hence the lack of rating and proper review. But... you know when you start to read a book and everything just feels a bit off? Nothing major, but small things that make you raise an eyebrow or pull up Google to check up on info you're already pretty sure you know. That's what happened in the first 23 pages of Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel.

This paragraph...
prag ♻
Nov 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to prag ♻ by: sofia (sam willows)
update post-read: this is turning out to be a Good Plan already THIS WAS ADORABLE AND FUNNY AND THERE WAS A PLOT TWIST I DIDN'T SEE COMING BUT I LOVED IT

update pre-read: i need to make intelligent life choices so new plan i'm only going to read f/f romances for the rest of my life now
Wendy Darling
DNF This feels like a very slight middle grade book, and is extremely simplistic in terms of plotting, style, emotion, and characterization. Was it also supposed to be funny? It's kind of sad I couldn't really tell. It's too bad, I'd love to see more f/f relationships in YA.

An advance copy was provided by the publisher for this review.
The strength of this book is that it's from a unique perspective, that of a lesbian Persian-American girl with immigrant parents, coming to terms with who she is and how she still fits within her family.

I agree with some other reviewers that the book isn't without issues and I see the critiques as valid. That said, I still liked the lead character, Leila. She's struggling and she has a sarcastic and dry sense of humor that's endearing. It's easy to sympathize with her situation and I liked how h
“I want to stop living in fear. I want to stop coming up with excuses about why I'm not interested in dating. I want my family to know me. I want to get to learn more about Lisa. I want to stop feeling like everything I am is inadequate or makes me unworthy of love because of something I can't help.”


This is going to have a lot of spoilers, but here we go:

I'm conflicted about this book. Part of me really, really liked it, I thought that Leila and her love interest were so cute I cou
This book was beautiful: refreshing writing, lovable characters, a realistic spectrum of emotions, and everything I've ever wanted out of a F/F YA book. The romance is sweet and genuine, and it's a relief to read a book about two girls in love that doesn't revolve around sex.

The cast was incredible - diverse, easy to relate to, and the kind of people you end up rooting for. The way this book handled sexuality was amazing, too. I'll be writing a full review someday, but for now... Just read this
Paula M. of Her Book Thoughts!

"I want to stop living in fear. I want to stop coming up with excuses about why I'm not interested in dating. I want my family to know me... I want to stop feeling like everything I am is inadequate or makes me unworthy of love because of something  I can't help."


There goes my feels..

Ever feel like you're too old for the book you're reading even though you're just 2 years older than the protagonist? Or that's just me being weird...

It wasn't THAT great. But i
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Sara Farizan really knows how to write a relatable lesbian teenager. I mean, this definitely was not profound in any sense of the word, but it was still great nonetheless. Leila is so funny and so real that it was hard for me to not feel like I could have been best friends with her. Her struggles were also very relatable. Conservative parents, being preyed upon by selfish girls who want to use you, falling in love with your best friend. All of it was very reali
May 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, z-2015, lgbtq, reviewed, ya
1) I am so happy to see more queer YA lit,
1a) Particularly with female protags,
1b) Particularly with diversity, and
1c) Particularly when the character has already figured out that she's gay, and the entire plot isn't taken up by angsting over this possibility.

2) That said:

This bitch is crazy.

Yes. Yes she is. It really shouldn't have taken Leila 220 pages to figure that out. And it disappoints me—not that Leila let hormones override common sense for so long, but that so much of the plot
Feb 16, 2017 added it
I don't know what to rate this yet.

It's f/f and some parts are cute...but it's also hurtful, biphobic, and offensive. It's marketed as an adorable f/f romance, and that's not what you get.

I loved we had a lesbian Persian main character, and that Leila's culture was a big part of her life. But other than that? I was disappointed.

Let's have a list.
•stop using the word 'exotic' to describe poc! It's not okay, and I noticed it multiple times.
•biphobic comments were made and not proven to be wro
Amy Bruestle
Jun 09, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobooks, ebooks
This was a cute YA book, about LGBT issues. But it was a bit cheesy.
love, tappkalina
3.75 ✰

I adored this one! I live for that trope when the protagonist dislike certain people without any good reason and at the end becomes friends with them. I just love reading about finding friends.

And nowdays I'm so good at shipping the main character with the right person... do we have an award for that?
Elle (TheBookishActress)
4 stars. This isn't a particularly quality novel, maybe. But it's funny and it's sweet and that's what you need out of a contemporary, right?

My favorite part of this book is the humor. Leila's narrative voice is absolutely hilarious. Her descriptions of each side character are so funny. Her inner thoughts are hilariously relatable. Even when the book gets sad or dark, Leila's voice brings it back into the realm of enjoyable.

Despite the humor, Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel doesn't hesita
Jan 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: lgbtqia, read-in-2017
God, this was so cute and fun and good until Sara Farizan had to go and slap me in the face with her biphobia. And it comes in every flavor! You've got the lady who only dates men but had a "lesbian phase" in college, the girl who likes multiple genders but hates labels, aaaaand the evil manipulative 'slutty' villain girl who flirts with and uses people of multiple genders while being described as "crazy" and "psycho"- hello ableism! I am so fucking heartsore, honestly. I wasn't even here expect ...more
enqi ☁️✨
I also began to notice how white everything was. The students, the students’ teeth, and the fences surrounding the outdoor swimming pools we never used. We all seemed to categorize ourselves without ever explicitly saying anything. Where does that leave students who don’t have a clear category?

things i liked:
- cute soft f/f romance
- i love leila. she's a confused sapphic darling who must be protected at all costs
- doesn't follow the conventional romance trope and the twist is something i di
I really enjoyed this one! Leila is a teenaged Iranian-American and she's gay - and hasn't told anyone. The book deals with her second major crush (which takes place at her private school as opposed to summer camp), navigating friendships and family, and trying to find her place at school - you know, just easy breezy stuff. ;)

Much of the book deals with the crush/friendship with a manipulative girl - it was actually great to see a toxic friendship so accurately portrayed.

I enjoyed getting a lit
B.A. Wilson
Jul 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I got a copy of the ARC for this novel from Algonquin YR through a Goodreads Giveaway, and I read it almost straight through. It sucked me in fast with the perfect amounts of humor, angst, and heartfelt moments.

I totally adored this diverse story which is about growing up, being different, and choosing the type of person you want to become, even if others would choose differently for you. It sent me back about 18 years to those trippy feelings of desperate first crush, to unexpected humiliation
Apr 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
It’s amazing the difference between an audiobook and a print book.

Tell Me Again How A Crush Should Feel is a lesbian coming of age/coming out story featuring Leila, who has fallen for the glamorous new transfer student Saskia. Of course she also has to contend with her Persian parents, perfect older sister, guy friend who doesn’t understand why she doesn’t return his feelings, failing science, and a host of other teenage problems.

I was listening along, noting that Leila’s former friend Lisa was
Kat (Lost in Neverland)
Oct 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cute-as-a-kitten

Very predictable and not very well written, but hey, positive biracial lesbian YA.
Michelle Ellis
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was really enjoyable and I devoured it in two sittings. I loved the discussion it brought up about toxic relationships and friendships. The Persian American heritage and cultural exploration excerpts were great as well. The romance was completely swoon worthy. I absolutely loved them together.
The writing was engaging and funny. I laughed and awed out loud many times throughout this book. There were some writing mistakes but I feel that they were things the editor should have caught. I
This one was an interesting read for me. I can't say that I loved it, but I also didn't hate it by any means. The strength is the diversity in the read, being one of the few LGBT stories I can think of that's told from a Persian-American viewpoint. Personally, I had trouble with some of the choices that the author made, but overall, a good listen. Bonus though, it was a free audiobook via my public library's audio app, so that's a win! Overall, 3.25 stars.
Melissa Veras
2.5 stars.
I think that anyone who has ever had a crush, no matter what you're sexual orientation, and has felt like they don't fit in for whatever reason will be able to relate to Leila. Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel is all about Leila figuring herself out. She knows she's gay, but isn't out yet. She already feels like she sticks out at her mostly white high school, and her parents are traditional Persians who want her to be a doctor even though Leila is failing science, so there's no way she can ...more
Oct 26, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: multiculti, lbgtqia, 14-16
Like a Persian lesbian Sarah Dessen book. And I mean this in the BEST way possible.
Apr 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is cute. It’s been a while since I’ve read YA and I’ve been giving it more of a shot nowadays because I realize how much this category has changed since I’ve started reading it and the amount of diverse voices and representation is quite different than before.

This tells a story about Leila, a Persian-American living in the US and her story about coming to terms with her Persian heritage and customs, understanding her sexuality and the way she feels about dating men, and how she can fit
Stephen Arvidson
Sara Farizan follows up her heartrending debut with a hopeful and realistic coming-of-age tale of a closeted lesbian grappling with the potential consequences of being gay in a conservative community. Written in naturalistic, deceptively simple prose that keep the pages turning, Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel is a light and concise read populated by relatable teenage characters, endearing banter, and buckets of charm.

Being true to one’s self isn’t always easy, and few understand that bet
Jun 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was like an emotional punch in the gut.
Marie the Librarian
I loved this book. Leila is so easy to relate to and the humor is amazing. This is a beautiful book about important and difficult themes such as finding out who you are, bullying and being yourself.
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Sara Farizan was born on August 2, 1984 in Massachusetts. Her parents immigrated from Iran in the seventies, her father a surgeon and her mother a homemaker. Sara grew up feeling different in her private high school not only because of her ethnicity but also because of her liking girls romantically, her lack of excitement in science and math, and her love of writing plays and short stories. So she ...more

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“What do you want?
I want to stop living in fear. I want to stop coming up with excuses about why I'm not interested in dating. I want my family to know me. I want to get to learn more about Lisa. I want to stop feeling like everything I am is inadequate or makes me unworthy of love because of something I can't help.”
“How do people do this? How do people work up the courage to be themselves even if it means facing rejection from people who love them? Why don’t people get medals for this?” 7 likes
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